Not All Revolutions are Created Equal: A Journey into the Soul of Abortionist Kermit Gosnell

July 3rd, 2014

 

Fall of Satan

During the month of July we celebrate the birthday of our great nation.  The writers of the Declaration of Independence presented their reasonable and just cause for separation from rule by the King of England.

However these wise men made it clear that not all revolutions are created equal:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

Abolishing established order will come with a cost.  This should not be entered into lightly or without careful discernment.

The Abortion Revolution

As we remember and celebrate the founding of these United States we would do well to pause and consider another still unfolding revolution that has unleashed unprecedented change on our nation.

Abortionist Kermit Gosnell was among the many feminists, professionals in medicine, law, psychology, politics, business and entertainment  who were the early architects and pioneers of the social revolution which that led to the 1973 Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion throughout our land.

Abortion has polarized our spiritual, moral, political and social discourse.  Nearly 60 million United States citizens were never born, changing the demographic of our country and altering our nation in ways we are only beginning to understand.  The personal and social costs, while often hidden or ignored are life, family and community altering.   Legalizing abortion has indeed been a high impact social revolution.

Gosnell’s Babies

We will take a closer look at the life of one of those early pro abortion pioneers, Dr Kermit Gosnell.  The notorious Philadelphia abortion doctor was convicted in 2013 of first-degree murder for killing babies that were born alive in his clinic. Gosnell was also sentenced to 30 years in prison for illegally dealing pain meds out of the same facility. We will examine the personal, social and especially the spiritual forces that produced what many consider a monster.  Given some of the facts of this case, most reasonable people would agree that snipping the spinal chord’s of babies born alive and storing their little chopped off feet in a jar in your office…definitely earns you the title of monster.

But maybe that is our way of distancing and protecting ourselves from a more disturbing reality…he was not really a monster at all.

Steve Volk is a senior writer at Philadelphia magazine and author of Gosnell’s Babies.  (I highly recommend reading Volk’s brief but informative e-book which contains a very revealing series of interviews with abortionist Kermit Gosnell.) Chapter one is entitled, The Monster Smiles. You will discover that Dr Gosnell was for a time a compassionate, well intentioned Physician who felt a special call to serve the poor.  What went wrong?

By shining a brighter light on key aspects of Dr Gosnell’s life and evolution as a man and physician, we will find that he is not a monster but rather a man who remains convicted that providence chose him to to be a courageous abortion pioneer and serve the poor of his West Philadelphia neighborhood.

Gosnell Family Values

Part II of Volk’s e-book, is entitled the Man behind the Monster.   This chapter presents an overview of Gosnell’s family background.  It is remarkably positive.

Volk reveals that Gosnell is no cartoon evil villain, but rather a complex character; a gentleman doctor with a stately, even regal demeanor as some reporters described him in the courtroom during his trial.

Volk reveals that Gosnell was a well-liked and gifted young student:

…once a popular student at Philadelphia’s prestigious Central High School… earned a medical degree and come back to the West Philadelphia area where he was raised to start his health clinic and run a drug rehabilitation program in Mantua. How that illustrious beginning met up with this shambling end was hard to understand.

Gosnell’s father was a hard working handyman skilled in a number of trades and his mother a successful city employee.  They instilled in their young son a strong work ethic and his mother especially stressed the importance of education.  Gosnell explains he felt “tremendous pressure from his mother” who he says “lived vicariously through him.”

This sense of parental pressure is common among families struggling to raise their children to negotiate the challenges of racism, economic oppression and yet have the values and personal discipline to rise above these obstacles and succeed in life.   Their hard work paid off.  Gosnell was a gifted musician, athlete and a popular and high-achieving student.

Once he obtained his medical degree he decided rather than abandon his West Philadelphia neighborhood for greener pastures, he would instead stay and be of service to the needy people in the West Philadelphia community where he was raised.  His parents must have been very proud indeed of their accomplished son.

The Long Descent into Hell…Begins with a Single Step

Gosnell decided to specialize as an ob-gyn. A poor neighbor and her husband, feeling the stress of raising 3 children and limited financial resources asked Dr Gosnell to abort their unborn child.  (Keep in mind this was prior to the Roe V Wade decision in 1973 legalizing abortion.)  Fearing she might try to abort the baby herself, or choose the shady services of a non-medical abortionist, he performed his first illegal abortion on a 15 week old fetus and pocketed the cash they gave him. [1]

A desperate teenage girl and her grandmother were his next abortion case…and so it all begins.

It is clear that Gosnell shared these accounts with Volk to present the foundational mythology that is a cornerstone of Gosnell’s self-concept:

Gosnell, the compassionate and caring abortion doctor willing to sacrifice a lucrative suburban practice so he can remain in his West Philadelphia neighborhood and serve poor desperate families facing unplanned pregnancy. 

We can imagine Dr Gosnell sincerely proclaiming, “See America, I am really a saintly heroic man…not a monster.”

This initial abortion case by Dr Gosnell is extremely significant because within it we have a very powerful and compelling element in the mythology of the compassionate abortion pioneer.  This would prove to be a very influential element that would draw many women and men to embrace the revolution to legalize abortion.  They were often individuals of good will, compassionate and interested in improving the lives of women and families, especially those facing poverty, and racism.

Let’s look more closely at Dr Gosnell’s first abortion case because within this story lie the seeds of all that would corrupt the heart, mind and soul of our gentleman-physician…and in time our entire nation.

The Physician-King:  Above the Laws of Man…and God.

Dr Gosnell has his initial taste of assuming the role as a type of above the law Physician King with this young desperate couple in that very first procedure he performed.  This was the first instance of Gosnell playing fast and loose with the law.  Since abortion was not legal at this time in Pennsylvania, he violated the law by performing this abortion.  This was the beginning of his tendency to stretch and/or violate the law outright if his wise discernment deemed it necessary.

As Volk indicates in Gosnell’s Babies, he was not alone placing himself above the law for the greater cause of the abortion revolution:

Breaking abortion law amounted to a form of political insurrection.  People who could provide safe abortions were considered heroes of good conscience…feminist activists actively encouraged illegal activity…[2]

Another key concept in Gosnell’s identity… he did not choose to be an abortionist, but rather in reference to those first few poor troubled neighbors that came to him for abortions Gosnell says…“abortion chose me.”  This indicates a sense of being anointed, chosen for a special mission to the poor.

Based on Volk’s interviews, we can safely imagine the inner thoughts of Dr Gosnell:

 I know the messy reality faced by the poor in this neighborhood.  I am an enlightened and skilled physician.  It would be cruel and wrong to deny this poor couple my professional services.  The technical interpretation of existing laws is a luxury for those with more resources in better neighborhoods…I am willing to take the heat for doing the dirty work to save these desperate poor families from falling deeper into poverty and suffering.

Lead us Not Into Temptation:  The Conception…of Self-Deception

The compassionate Physician-King and abortion revolutionary is not bound by burdensome legal restrictions.  But he faces an even greater temptation that is at the very heart of the abortion rights revolution…playing God.

At first glance, many, perhaps the majority of our fellow citizens (without an understanding of the after effects of abortion) would likely hear the facts of Gosnell’s initial abortion case, and agree that performing the procedure was the compassionate thing to do.  Within this scenario we find the seeds of a very sophisticated temptation and the original rebellion against the Providence of our Creator as revealed in the book of Genesis.

Unfortunately the modern mind quickly dismisses the familiar bible story of Adam, Eve, the snake and that apple as an entertaining but antiquated fairy tale or simply Middle Eastern mythology…only fundamentalist loonies still take this stuff literally.

Tragically this is a dangerous mistake.  Perhaps at no time in human history, apart from that initial rupture in the relationship between God and our early human ancestors, has the deeper truths of this story had more significance…and serve as a prophetic warning.  (I would invite even the non-religious or agnostic reader to consider that there are crucial truths and important lessons about the human person contained in what you may view as Middle Eastern creation mythology.)

Enter the Garden

Let’s take a closer look at the Garden of Eden.  The scene here is of harmony between man and women in their spiritual relationship with their Creator both individually, as a couple, and with God’s creation.  That harmony and the goodness of God’s creation are reflected in their one-flesh union, where they share in the great gift with God of conceiving and bringing forth new life into the world.

But there is a mysterious and powerful force also lurking about the Garden, which we learn in Luke’s Gospel, has its origins in a pre-creation cosmic rebellion against God:

Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” (Luke, 10-18.)

This malevolent force is reflected in the Genesis account as a snake.  However in this context, the Hebrew word for snake can also be understood as a menacing serpent… a cunning and diabolical evil force and a formidable adversary.

Adam allowed the Serpent entry into the Garden and access to his partner.  Adam and Eve were then vulnerable to his cunning and powerful temptations to embrace Satan’s rebellion against God’s providence.  The Serpent uses the prohibition against eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that God warned would bring death as the area to tempt our first parents:

But the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die!  God knows well that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, who know good and evil.

The Fruit of the Tree of Abortion

This is the very temptation faced by Dr Gosnell (and all abortionists) in his initial abortion case.  This first procedure led Gosnell to embrace his role as a chosen Physician King. In this vocation conferred upon him by a type of abortion providence, he is above the law and liberated to play God as he assumes the power to take the life of an unborn child…if his wise discernment justifies fetal termination.

Just as in the Garden of Eden, this conception of self-deception planted the seeds of interior corruption and moral blindness that would over time bring forth not the enlightened fruit of god-like knowledge and power as promised by the Serpent, but the expanding fruit of death in Gosnell’s personal and professional life.

The Silent Scream and the Compassionate Late Term Abortionist

Author Steven Volk points out in Chapter 4 of Gosnell’s Babies that at a certain point in the doctor’s life as he continued in family medicine and performing abortions there “begins a narrative that splits in two, with one track spanning a routine of good deeds and another leading to indictments…and 200 criminal counts.” As we will learn, that split makes perfect sense when you understand the spiritual and emotional costs of directly taking the life of unborn children in the womb.

Kermit Gosnell, even after initially falling to the temptation to abort unborn human life still had the work ethic, and values instilled by his parents.  While the darkness slowly grew in his mind and soul he still maintained some standards of decency and humanity.  Volk shares that many of Gosnell’s neighbors held him in high esteem…even after his convictions still expressing love and affection for the “good doctor.”  We find in this complex personality a father who loved his children, and a physician that while clearly misguided, was at times a compassionate and caring doctor.

In 1986 Gosnell saw the film The Silent Scream.  Silent Scream captures an ultra sound of an abortionist attempting to apply a suction instrument called a cannula to dismember a fetus in the womb.

Volk shares this account of Gosnell viewing the film:

…Gosnell simply took in what he saw: The fetus moves and to try and avoid the cannula until finally the suction locks on.  At this point, the mouth opens in what the producers called a “silent scream”…over the following weeks, he arranged to do a few abortions while filming the ultrasound screen.  He saw the same thing he’s witnessed on TV. 

Now you would expect that at this point, a compassionate and merciful physician like Dr Gosnell as he personally witnesses the fetus experiencing panic, recoiling from his suction instrument that will tear it apart…might at the very least pause to question if abortion is still an ethical and humane response to an unplanned pregnancy.   Instead we find that Gosnell has been thoroughly corrupted by playing God with unborn life.

Gosnell slips into the typical pro abortion propaganda to buttress his massive denial.    He shares about viewing his own version of Silent Scream on the ultrasound as he performed abortions:

I didn’t regret what I had done…The greater sin is the pain of carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term…and the ripple effects that has on the rest of her family and the child, and society.

One can have the most noble of intentions, and yet be the most arrogant and ignorant of men.    The wise Physician King must decide, what is the greater sin? An unborn child recoiling in horror as it is about to be ripped apart…or the real burdens that the poor face when confronted with unplanned pregnancy.[3]

You see, the enlightened, chosen leaders of the abortion revolution must assume the burden of making such complex, and troubling decisions.    As the last century taught us, those possessed with revolutionary fervor see themselves as chosen agents of history and above the laws of God and man…and so become the greatest criminals in the history of mankind.

The “Compassionate” Origins of the Baby Spinal Snipping Procedure

Convicted of the righteousness of his cause, yet still retaining some sense of human decency, Dr Gosnell felt after viewing the Silent Scream that it was important to reduce the pain he caused in later term abortions. If one has travelled the slippery slope of abortion rights apologetics, and the necessity of mid-term and later-term abortions, then there is a certain logic and twisted compassion in his developing the notorious spinal snipping procedure to quickly ease the pain of the abortion procedure on later term babies, especially those born alive.

If you find yourself rightly disgusted by Gosnell stabbing the necks and snipping the spinal cords of just born infants, then consider the Dilation and Evacuation procedure performed on 4-6 month old babies. Because the bones of the baby are solidly formed by 12 weeks, the abortionist must use an instrument that resembles pliers to grab hold of the baby’s body parts and rips them from the baby’s body.

Abortionist Warren Hern shares of his experience performing the D & E on a baby: “The sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like an electric current.”

If Gosnell is a monster…then what do we call an abortionist who performs D & E procedures on babies from 16-24 weeks?  Thirty-Seven percent of abortions occur on babies after the 12th week of pregnancy when their little bones are formed and the heart beating.  It could be argued that what Gosnell was charged with, is no less offensive than the thousands of procedures performed each year on babies over 3 months gestation, where no attempt is made to reduce the pain and suffering the child experiences as it is ripped apart in a suction abortion or dismembered in the womb by a D&E procedure.

The Growing Emotional, Spiritual and Professional Disconnect of the Abortion Doctor

How does this story end so badly for Dr Gosnell?

When Gosnell bit the abortion apple and assumed the Creator’s providence over life and death we see the fruits of that rebellion beginning to ripen.  Although the details are sparse at this point in Volk’s account, we learn that Gosnell was married three times with 2 children from each marriage.  We know from our international experience with those who have experienced abortion loss, that participating in the death of an unborn child has emotional and relational consequences that are only clear after one attends a healing program.  Like a confusing and scattered puzzle, it is only after an emotional and spiritual recovery from that loss that women and men can put back together the fragmented pieces of their post abortion lives and makes sense of the chaos.

This is all the more true for those like Gosnell that directly destroy the unborn child in the womb.

Gosnell as he progressed as an abortionist by necessity further embraced the spiritual and emotional lies and rationalizations for being a hired killer for poor desperate families facing unplanned pregnancy.   His dissociation from this truth led to a similar dissociation from any standards of decency.

Increasingly the  disconnect between his self image as the kind and wise Physician King bestowing his medical services to his poor subjects, and the interior rot taking hold of his mind/heart/soul from killing so many unborn babies yielded it’s toxic fruit.

The Grand Jury report on Gosnell reveals the following charges:

  • Performing abortions after the legal limit of 24 weeks…at times delivering babies still alive
  • Allowing women to go into labor all day in his clinic and the casually stroll in for evening appointments with some of the women giving birth in toilets, waiting rooms and procedure tables while he was out of the clinic…at times giving birth to live infants.
  • Neglecting standards of instrument sterilization and care leading to S.T.D infections
  • A patient dies from heavy bleeding after a procedure without follow up. Many women horribly maimed and injured by his growing incompetence.
  • As his incompetence deepens he has less early term abortion referrals and more later-term procedure patients. Gosnell hires non-professional untrained staff to assist him in his practice.
  • As his corruption intensifies greed becomes an increasingly primary driving force in his practice as he rations better care and pain medicine for his better paying clientele.
  • He rationalizes that an illegal prescription policy for pain killers is justified as an employment opportunity for poor folks with few options
  • A plumber plunges a toilet and a tiny arm pops free
  • A cat set free to roam the clinic dies, lies rotting in the clinic infested with fleas.
  • Storing frozen babies and baby parts in his clinic

The Problem Isn’t so much Gosnell…Its Abortion

This is just a sampling of the madness.  When law enforcement agents came to Gosnell’s home to arrest him, he asked if he could first feed his turtles.   This further indicates the now complete dissociation of Dr Gosnell from the chaos, moral depravity and filth in his personal and professional life.   He calmly crushes some clams and feeds his turtles before leading the agents to his office…dissociated from the unfolding legal process that would lead him to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Perhaps on some level his increasingly erratic and criminal behavior was shouting out   “I am clearly out of control…someone please stop me and end this madness.” He remains to this day unable to face reality in his warped state and the abortion industry is too morally compromised, corrupt and depraved to police their more overtly criminal elements…as Live Action has revealed. 

Gosnell would exhibit this same calm, stately dissociative manner in the courtroom as the tales of horror unfolded.  We can safely assume he maintained the same state of calm dissociation as he dismembered a fetus, or snipped the spinal cord of a just born living baby.

While Gosnell may represent a more extreme example of the spiritually corrupted dissociated and traumatized abortionist…he is not alone.

The following is an excerpt from the New Zealand Resources for Life on a study by Rachel MacNair on Post Traumatic Stress of abortion clinic employees and physicians:

… the Psychological Consequences of Killing (Paeger, 2002)…examines several groups that kill, including war veterans and executioners…Both studies were done by people in favor of legal abortion, yet they both note the high prevalence of symptoms that fit the condition now called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The 1974 study…noted: “obsessional thinking about abortion, depression, fatigue, anger, lowered self-esteem, and identity conflicts were prominent. The symptoms were…similar to combat fatigue. The other study listed similar symptoms: … including withdrawal from colleagues… Nightmares, images that could not be shaken, and preoccupation were commonly reported. Also common was the deep and lonely privacy within which practitioners…

Gosnell represents what happens, in varying degrees, to all medical professionals who participate in the death of the unborn.  An unavoidable corruption and division occurs in the heart, mind and soul that enables the abortion doctors and staff to do the dirty work that our society uncomfortably tolerates…even as we really don’t want to really face the ugly realities of what abortion looks like.

Some physicians may not display some of the public excesses of Gosnell.  But rest assured, the research of groups like Life Dynamics reveal that when physicians and abortion clinic employees eat the fruit of the abortion apple they unleash forces that over time lead to darkness and dysfunction in their personal, professional and spiritual lives at great cost to those desperate women and men they claim to serve.

Like many who enter the murky waters of abortion with the best of intentions, these men and women are seduced by their pride and often greed to believe they can maintain control as they become the hired hands to destroy unplanned and unwanted human lives in the womb.

In Gosnell’s life, this is reflected over time in the inability to manage the growing chaos in his personal and professional life.  Reading the shocking facts of the Grand Jury report is like holding a mirror up to Gosnell’s soul…the chaos, filth and depravity are a reflection on his interior corruption and possession by the darkness that is the heart of the abortion revolution.  Once you are possessed by the lies and madness…you no longer recognize the light of truth.

The great Physician King and chosen abortion revolutionary…ends up the most depraved and pathetic of men who so grievously injured so many poor women and their babies.

Eternal Darkness

This is a warning for all those involved in the abortion industry and all of us who can remain blind and obstinate in our sin and rebellion against God’s Providence of our lives.  Many in the pro abortion camp may distance themselves from some of the more bizarre excesses and medical negligence of Gosnell.  But if you are involved in any way in the direct killing of unborn fetal life…over time your soul will become as dark and corrupted as Gosnell’s.

When you one day face the Creator of life…will you recognize the light from the darkness…truth from lies?  Or will you, like Gosnell have become so possessed by the lie that is the heart of the abortion revolution that you will reject the truth of that light…and choose eternal darkness and separation from God?  [4]

Rest assured, the author of those lies, the Serpent in the Genesis story will be there to convince you of your irredeemable depravity and the justice of your damnation. These are the horrifying realities that transcend the contentious politics and debates around the issue of abortion and have eternal significance for so many of us at this time in history.  Let us pray we can cling to the cross of Christ in our time of judgment, and trust in His great mercy.

For the sake of his sorrowful passion…have mercy on us and on the whole world.

 [In a future article I will explore the work of Dr Philip Ney and the Centurions in helping abortion providers transition and recover from their abortion practice.  If you are a present or former abortion employee or doctor please contact Priests for Life for more information and assistance.]

[1]  Greed would certainly play a key role in the later expansion of his late term abortion business.  But for the purpose of this analysis, I want to focus on the spiritual and personal lies that led over time to such depravity and madness as I believe they are more foundational to understanding this man and the roots of the abortion business.

[2] As former abortionist the late Dr Bernard Nathanson attested, pro abortion revolutionaries developed a strategy to shine a bright light on the “hard cases” and inflate and invent statistics about maternal death from botched abortions to build a powerful momentum for legalization that swept across our nation in the 1960’s and early 1970’s.  

[3] Gosnell’s is clearly ignorant of the real personal, family and social costs from after-abortion suffering.  The poor are especially vulnerable to these post abortion complications.

[4] There are many ways to abort God’s will for our lives and fall to temptation, sin and blindness.  See Matthew 25, 31-46.

 

 

A Father’s Day Card from Heaven

June 11th, 2014

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A Father’s Day Card from Heaven

Dear Daddy

I wish you had the chance to get to know me and love me

To see me grow from your little girl into a woman, wife and mother

I know you feel sad today for failing to protect me

As you see an empty chair at your Father’s day dinner with my brother and sister

Don’t despair, I love you…and forgive you.  You will always be my father…forever

Daddy it is time to heal this wound in your soul…to reconcile with God and to give me a name

A name which the angels will proclaim in joyful song! 

I pray each day for you and long for the day when we will dance for joy in God’s heavenly kingdom

Happy Fathers Day

Holidays carry our present and past experiences of joy and celebration with our loved ones and these joyful times are indeed a great blessing.  They remind us what is most important in our busy lives…our deep love and commitment to friends and family.  It is not a betrayal of this joy when we give ourselves permission to acknowledge that there may also be painful feelings and memories that exist right alongside of the happiness of a Holiday celebration.

As we celebrate this upcoming Father’s day, men with young children will receive those priceless home-made gifts and all of us will take a day to honor and celebrate our fathers – those living and those now with the Lord.  But some men will also be reminded that there is a child missing from their celebration…a Father’s day card that will never be written.   Men without living children may not publicly celebrate Father’s Day, but they too are fathers of their unborn children lost to abortion.

In a mysterious way, like a Father’s Day card from Heaven, those unborn children cry out to their fathers calling them to reconciliation with God and a deeper healing of the wounds abortion leaves on the hearts and souls of men.

From one of the hundreds of testimonies on the Silent No More Awareness Campaign website, Robert Shares:

  • I still feel the pain of my lost fatherhood…especially on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, when all the parents stand for a blessing and my wife and I have to sit there.   Robert’s Full Testimony Here

Turning the Hearts of Fathers – Be Not Afraid

In Luke’s Gospel we hear the OT prophecy of Malachi fulfilled in the mission of John the Baptist:

He will go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers toward their children and prepare a people fit for the Lord. – Luke 1, 10-17

It is in this same spirit and power of Elijah that the Silent No More Awareness Campaign announces the Turning the Hearts of Fathers Initiative to proclaim the good news of God’s forgiveness and restoration for those men who suffer after abortion loss.

Father’s Day and the month of June provide an opportunity for Christian Churches to reach out to the millions of men in their congregations who have experienced this loss.   As a pastor/clergy/ or lay minister you may fear preaching about this sensitive topic for fear of hurting or offending your people.  We invite you to consider that drawing attention to this issue around the time of Father’s day is an act of the greatest compassion…one that in time will bless your faith community.

We have learned from fathers that their abortion experience damaged them in ways that only became clear after attending an abortion recovery program.  Often men do not connect the emotional pain, addictions and failed relationships in their lives to a past abortion until they learn about the after-effects and attend an abortion recovery program:

  • Our marriage was in deep turmoil following the abortion. My wife was engaged in numerous affairs afterward. 13 years later, we divorced. Our whole family suffered greatly during these times. – Joseph’s Full Testimony Here
  • That hidden shame and guilt caused me to go into a downward spiral of lying, cheating, pornography and addiction to alcohol. - Mathew’s Testimony

Abortion attacks the fundamental nature of the gift men bring to the family; the protection, love and provision of the children entrusted to their care.  Violating this fundamental law of God can later weaken men in their vocation as husband, fathers and spiritual leaders in the home and in your church.

The Good News of Healing in Christ

The good news for God’s people is that with healing in Christ men are restored and renewed in their vocations as men, husbands and fathers.

The abortion healing program answered my deepest prayers… –David’s Testimony

Think of the benefit for your faith community when fathers learn how abortion impacts them and the blessing that healing this wound will bring to their lives and relationships.  Consider the spiritual gifts that are waiting to be released for God’s Kingdom and your faith community when a man attends a healing program.

Reaching out to God’s People

Visit the Turing the Hearts of Fathers website where you will find:

  • Resources for clergy/pastors/ministers to help you preach about and address this topic with sensitivity and effectiveness.
  • A link to Abortionforgiveness.org – A man or woman enters their zip code and finds safe and effective abortion healing programs in their area with contact information.
  • Find a man or woman in your area from the Silent No More Awareness Campaign who can visit your church and share a brief message of healing and hope.
  • A Bulletin Insert about the Turning the Hearts of Fathers Initiative
  • Pamphlets and Books on Abortion Recovery for your congregation.
  • And finally…A Press Release Announcing Turning the Hearts of Fathers to help promote the initiative in the media

What a great blessing it will be for our families, Churches and nation when the millions of men involved in abortion decisions turn to Christ for healing and restoration.  Join us this June as we ask the Lord to Turn the Hearts of Fathers toward their unborn children.

 

Obvious Child: A Poignant Romantic Comedy about Abortion?

June 6th, 2014

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Obvious Child opens in theaters on Friday June 6, 2014.  The reviews generally describe this film as a poignant comedy/romance that presents a refreshingly honest portrayal of a young couple facing an unplanned pregnancy.

Writer-Director Gillian Robespierre shares:

 “We weren’t sure how an abortion comedy would work out… [But] I think, what Jenny did was really capture that feeling of feeling lost and learning how to grow from that experience.”

Our lead heroine in this saga is 28 year old aspiring comedian Donna Stern (played by Jenny Slate.)  She draws upon the sexual activities with her boyfriend to fuel the pornographic standup comedy featured in the movie’s opening scene.  But Donna’s boyfriend doesn’t appreciate this exploitation of their sexual relationship to fuel her budding comedic genius.  So to exact revenge he sleeps with Jenny’s girlfriend as if to say… “Now stick that in your next stand up act!”

Actually that’s just what she does.  But her act bombs that night because Donna is hurt and depressed that this guy slept with her girlfriend and this makes for bad comedy.  See, it’s ok to take the private/intimate experience of sex with your partner and graphically share it with your audience to make them laugh…but it’s not ok for that guy to sleep with your friend.

Donna deals with her boyfriend-betrayal by going out with a friend and getting plastered.  She meets a nice young man, Max (played by Jake Lacy.) They consume even more alcohol and in one particularly poignant scene both share in public urination…and Max passes gas while relieving his booze-bloated bladder.  (Jenny later affectionately refers to Max as her “Pee-Farter.”)  Filled with passion by this romantic bonding experience they are soon dancing in their underwear and having sex.

Later as Donna examines her tender breast in the mirror she recognizes that her body is preparing for a baby…and decides abortion is the only solution to her dilemma.   Like a frightened child after a nightmare, she snuggles into the warm, safe womb of her mother’s bed, and shares her anxiety about the unplanned pregnancy and the decision to abort the child.

Donna’s mother (played by Polly Draper) has not been supportive of her daughter’s comedy career but is very supportive of the decision to abort.  Donna’s mom shares that she too had an abortion in her youth.

Sadly this scenario is not uncommon.  When a mother never properly grieves a previous abortion loss, she is likely to suffer the common post abortion symptoms after the procedure in her life and relationships.  Growing up with a wounded after-abortion mom would likely influence Donna’s sexually-charged nihilistic standup comedy.   As with many mother/daughter abortion decisions,  this Mom projected onto Donna’s crisis the same vulnerabilities and unresolved grief and loss from her own abortion…leading her to see termination as the only solution.  Tragically the trauma after the abortion is transmitted like a deadly virus to her daughter.

Donna and her sexual partner Max are confused and immature characters.   Without the guidance of an adult in their life who could offer them an alternative to sexual anarchy and abortion, they lack any moral or spiritual compass to help them negotiate their adult lives and find a non-violent solution to their unplanned pregnancy.

Donna in her standup act projects an image of the brave transparent comic heroine whose comedy is unrestrained by any standards of decency.   But her sexually explicit comedy reveals a lack of respect for the sacred nature of this most intimate human experience endowed by our Creator with the awesome power to create human life.  The graphic sexual comedy that opens the movie leads inexorably to the urination scene and the desecration of the sexual act (and finally their unborn child.)

Director Gillian Robespierre would like us to believe that this story has a happy ending and to breathe a sigh of relief that thankfully abortion while unpleasant is really no big deal…just part of Donna’s crazy comedic coming of age as she learns and “grows from the experience.” 

This is a dangerous deception for women and men who will face an unplanned pregnancy or have experienced an abortion loss.

Consider the scene where Donna discovers her breasts are changing to prepare for the unborn child.  By disrupting the natural process of breast maturation after abortion Donna is significantly increasing her risk of breast cancer.   Is this what director Robespierre had in mind when he had the inspiration to create this “abortion comedy?”

Here is the more likely progression in the personal and professional life of comedian Donna Stern.  Read these stories of women and men who present a more honest and accurate description of the experience of abortion loss and recovery.

There is a 50% chance that without a healing program for her abortion loss Donna will go on to to have multiple abortions.  With each abortion the light of grace in her heart and soul will fade as the unhealed pain and grief of love/child lost leads to increased alcohol abuse and relational dysfunction…as the pain bleeds  into her sexually explicit nihilistic comedy.

The night before Donna’s scheduled abortion, Max comes to see her standup act:

   “You killed it” [Max] compliments Donna after her rousing routine.

Donna’s response…

 “Isn’t that what I’m doing tomorrow?”  

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[If you are a man or woman who has suffered abortion loss do not give into despair, cynicism or fear.  There is forgiveness, healing and peace available through an abortion recovery program.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abortion for Fetal Anomaly: The Compassionate Choice for Mother and Baby?

May 29th, 2014

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Registered Nurse Lynn Smith presents an excellent overview on some key issues to consider when couples are counseled to abort their unborn child with a fetal anomaly:

In considering the H 4223, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, people need to know that abortion is not a life saving, pain sparing medical procedure in the case of fetal anomaly.

At a February conference, OB-GYN doctor, Byron Calhoun, presented a strong case for perinatal hospice instead of termination of pregnancy for fetal anomaly.  Not only is perinatal hospice safer for a woman and her family emotionally, but it is safer physically, for the mother.

There are 6-10,000 lethal fetal anomalies in the U.S. every year.  Traditional treatment for  lethal anomalies is termination of pregnancy, and the reasons for such treatment are not necessarily based on sound medical rationale, but on emotion:  obstetric providers’ well intentioned desire to spare the mother and the family a distressing experience, their need to “do something,” and their discomfort with bereaved patients.  On the physiological level, a prudent doctor is motivated to avoid maternal complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and fear of increased maternal mortality.

The doctors’ desire to be in control, and prevent suffering, is understandable, however research reveals that termination does not necessarily prevent maternal complications, mortality, or suffering but, in fact, pregnancy termination increases the risk of physical harm and prolongs suffering.  Grief after termination of a pregnancy is just as intense as after a spontaneous pregnancy loss, however, grief after termination for anomalies demonstrates prolonged consequences.  A study in the Netherlands of women with termination for anomalies reviewed psychological outcomes at monthly intervals. At 4 months 46% of women had pathological levels of post-traumatic stress symptoms.  At 16 months, 21% still had symptoms.  Grief after termination is intense and persistent, as shown in another Netherlands study.  Evaluated 2-7 years post termination, 2.6% had pathological grief and 17% had post traumatic stress.

Another study, on the other hand, shows grief with first trimester spontaneous pregnancy loss is equal to that of live birth.  In the first six months of the study, there was increased depression, anxiety and somatization with the loss group, but after one year there was no difference with the live birth group.

Dr. Calhoun notes that in comparing a 1994 study to the 1998 CDC report, maternal mortality for induced abortion at 16-20 weeks is about the same as for non termination.  However, the CDC itself acknowledges within its own reports that induced abortion morbidity and mortality are underreported.  Therefore, it can be deduced that carrying a pregnancy to term, is the safer choice.

A well designed perinatal hospice program provides the kinder alternative of assisting the mother to carry her baby to term.  Kinder to the mother, in that she was not a proactive agent in the demise of her child, and kinder to the child, allowing it to live comfortably what time it has within the womb.  A 2002 analysis found that 20% of patients will continue the pregnancy no matter what the diagnosis.  Two studies show that 75-85% of patients choose perinatal hospice when presented with the idea.  The patients were all positive about hospice care and the opportunity to spend time with their infants, which, after delivery, lived from a few minutes to a few days.

Someone once said that you do not eliminate suffering by eliminating those who suffer.  Abortion is not healthcare.  Anyone who has been involved in an abortion decision, for whatever reason, if they are truly honest with their self, knows that abortion is cruel, ugly, and a desperate choice.

In so many circumstances in our society, from abortion to euthanasia, to assisted suicide, we need to recognize that killing is not compassion.   The word “compassion” comes from the words that mean “together” and “to suffer.”  Compassion is coming alongside those who suffer and living with them through their suffering.  To suggest that death is the solution for life’s problems is to abandon them to despair.  Is there a soul to our society?  How do we measure our humanity?  The answer is by the degree to which we care for those humans who are suffering:  the weak and vulnerable, the unwanted and imperfect, the dying.

Yours truly,

Lynn Smith, R.N.

 

 

Collateral Damage: An Attorney Traumatized by Abortion Case

May 22nd, 2014

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Sheila Harper founder/director at Saveone has an important blog on her meeting with an attorney  intimately involved in an abortion case in his distant past.  This powerful account reveals the true nature of abortion loss as a traumatic experience with powerful feelings many years after the event…not just for the father trying to prevent the abortion but for others like this attorney intimately involved in the events leading up to the unborn child’s death.  Here’s an excerpt from Sheila’s article:

I recently had the privilege of speaking at the Wisconsin Right to Life annual conference…After my talk that evening I had many come over to my booth and ask me to sign their newly bought books. There was one man in particular who I want to tell you about. He didn’t buy a book, didn’t ask me to sign anything, didn’t tell me I did a good job, nothing. He simply wanted to tell me a story. His tale goes like this…

In 1975 he was a really good attorney by his own admission. He rarely lost any case he defended. One day a man called the attorney’s office and said his wife had left him. He didn’t want a divorce and especially not now because his wife had just told him she was pregnant…and getting an abortion.  Read the rest here.

[Turning the Hearts of Fathers is a special initiative of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign this coming June to raise awareness of how abortion can deeply wound men and the good news of healing in Christ.]

Boxer Floyd Mayweather Powerless to Defend the Life of His Unborn Twins

May 1st, 2014

Floyd Mayweather

TraumaA traumatic event is an experience that causes physical, emotional, psychological distress, or harm. It is an event (such as rape, sudden accidental death, natural disaster etc.) that is perceived and experienced as a threat to one’s safety or to the stability of one’s world.

How horribly ironic that one of the greatest Professional Boxers in the world is powerless after Roe V Wade to defend the life of his unborn children.  Read the tragic experience of Boxer Floyd Mayweather and his former fiance, Shantel Christine Jackson…and the traumatic anger, pain and relationship implosion of a father who lost his twin children to abortion.

When couples are engaged to be married and learn of an unplanned pregnancy, there can be a great temptation to abort the child.   Parents can face economic fears, professional or educational commitments, embarrassment to face the truth with family and future in-laws…or something as tragic as not wanting an unplanned pregnancy to interfere with  the perfect wedding.

Couples sadly are ill prepared for the after effects of abortion.  It attacks the very heart of marital intimacy.  Communication and trust are often shattered by the painful, confusing and conflicted feelings which follow the procedure.  Couples may surge ahead and suppress these feelings in the busy preparations for marriage…but they will catch up with them in time.  We have learned from so many women and men after abortion that this procedure was a key  factor in their marital dysfunction and divorce.

For other couples, the relational destruction is immediate.  This is especially toxic when one of the partners, like Floyd Mayweather is given no say in the decision to end the life of their unborn children. 

Please join me in prayer that Shantel Christine repent of her actions and turn to the Lord for healing and for Floyd Mayweather, that he be open to attending an abortion recovery program so this traumatic loss does not lead to further pain and suffering in his life.

 

The Denial of Peter: A Message of Hope for Those Involved in the Abortion of an Unborn Child

April 14th, 2014

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“Surely you are one of them; for you too are a Galilean.” Peter began to curse and to swear, “I do not know this man about whom you are talking.” And immediately a cock crowed a second time. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times.   

Peter broke down…and wept.

That prior evening as the Apostles gathered for what would be their final Passover meal together, Peter felt strong, secure and confident gathered with Jesus and the other apostles.  Peter, with all sincerity offered to give his life for Jesus.

But just a few short hours later… all hell was breaking loose.

Peter must have been shaken that Jesus did not resist arrest, and now his once powerful Master suffered abuse as he was spit on and mocked by the Temple guards.  Peter was later alone and separated from his fellow apostles.  His beloved leader was no longer preaching, performing spectacular miracles like raising Lazarus from the dead…but facing the horror of Roman crucifixion.  Peter was traumatized by these events and feared for his life.  In that fear and isolation he denied the one he pledged to defend and protect.

It is a sign of the validity of the Gospel accounts that any political movement or religion would have one of its key foundational leaders presented in such an unflattering light.   Peter as leader of the Christian Church must have approved of such a depiction of his betrayal.  No doubt it was the fruit of his tearful repentance, humility and later his post-resurrection restoration by Jesus as leader of the early Christian Church.  (John 21, 15-19)

What a consolation to us in our moments of fear and weakness when in various ways, we abort God’s will for our lives.  I think of those that are involved in abortion decisions.  We know that some of these men and women prior to the abortion would consider themselves to be pro life, or at least were formed with these values in their families.  However in the fear, anger and uncertainty of an unplanned and life changing pregnancy, like Peter they can give in to those fears and deny the truth.  They deny their unborn son/daughter who bears the imprint of the Creator.

This denial also leads to bitter tears and much heartache.

Liberating Repentance  

Pope Benedict XVI wrote of the example of Peter and his words have a special significance for men who have participated in any way in an abortion decision:

  • The school of faith is not a triumphal march but a journey marked daily by suffering and love, trials and faithfulness. Peter, who promised absolute fidelity, knew the bitterness and humiliation of denial: the arrogant man learns the costly lesson of humility. Peter, too, must learn that he is weak and in need of forgiveness. Once his attitude changes and he understands the truth … he weeps in …liberating repentance… he is finally ready for his mission.     - Benedict XVI

This is the Good News for all who have participated in the death of an unborn child…but in a special way this speaks to fathers.  Like many men, Peter wanted to be strong and do the right thing, but in a time of fear and weakness he failed.  Peter is chastened and humbled by his fall and after repentance and restoration now understands that he cannot rely on his own strength, but in the power of Jesus.

It is challenging for men to put aside their pride and admit they failed to protect their unborn child from death.  But the Lord waits for them with mercy and forgiveness.  Jesus will not condemn them for their sin, but rather give them the grace of grieving their loss in liberating repentance.

In the healing of this loss men will in time discover another gift…their unique vocation in the Body of Christ.

What a great blessing it will be for our families, Churches and nation when the millions of men involved in abortion decisions turn to Christ for healing and restoration.  What a powerful army will be unleashed to share the light of the Gospel, empowering men in their mission to defend the sanctity of life in all its stages…and to protect the dignity of women, who are truly beloved daughters of their heavenly Father.

 [Stay tuned for a special announcement coming soon on a new initiative from the Silent No More Awareness Campaign calling men to repentance and healing of their abortion loss.] 

“Pro-Voice” Group Exhale: Counterfeit Healing After Abortion

April 7th, 2014

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The self-described “pro-voice” group Exhale is again celebrating April as Abortion Wellbeing Month.  Exhale describes itself as the “premiere organization addressing the emotional health and wellbeing of women and men after abortion.”

 If they truly believe this grandiose self description…the exhale folks are either seriously misinformed or seriously delusional…maybe it’s both.

Read here why groups like Exhale (however well intentioned) can never touch the deepest pain and loss of those who suffer abortion loss.

Cosmo Publishes Compelling Positive Article on Adoption

March 21st, 2014

Cosmo Adoption

Cosmopolitan Magazine published a very honest and compelling personal account of a young woman’s decision to make an adoption plan for her baby.  This is from the same author who wrote a piece in Cosmo about Abortion and Relationships which I blogged a response to in February 2014. 

Let’s get the word out and support a prominent women’s magazine like Cosmo offering such a powerful life-affirming and adoption-affirming article.      Here’s a link to the Cosmo article.  

 

Our Sunday Visitor : Prison Program Helps Men Cope with Past Abortions

March 12th, 2014

Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit clearly wants to get the Word out on the excellent prison ministry for men with abortion loss in the Diocese of Palm Beach Florida.

Another article this time in Our Sunday Visitor.           Praise God!